Great Plains Institute Provides Update on EPA’s Class VI Well Program & State Primacy Efforts

February 24, 2022 | Blog

On February 17, the Great Plains Institute released a blog that provides a timely update on key activities related to the Class VI Well program at Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and associated state primacy efforts.

Commercial interest in carbon management projects is growing rapidly, with nearly 90 publicly announced projects throughout the United States since the reauthorization of the 45Q tax credit in 2018.  More than 70 percent of these announced projects intend to store captured carbon dioxide (CO2) permanently and safely using Class VI wells.  The Class VI well permitting program was established by the EPA to provide specific regulations for dedicated geologic storage of CO2.  Like other well classes regulated by EPA, states may apply to EPA and be granted primacy over Class VI wells.

The anticipated increase in project applications to the Class VI Well program highlights the importance of federal and state efforts to provide key support for project development to meet midcentury climate goals.  

According to GPI, EPA has permitted two Class VI wells to date, with well permit applications for an additional four wells as pending.  EPA has also reported that it has received more than 50 inquiries regarding Class VI well permits, and lists several states as engaging in the primacy application process with EPA.

Two states have received primacy over Class VI wells, North Dakota and Wyoming.  The State of Louisiana’s Class VI primacy application is under review at EPA in the “completeness of determination” phase of the application process.  Arizona and West Virginia are listed as being in the “pre-application” phase.  North Dakota has issued two permits for Class VI wells, and additional well permit applications are pending.

To find out more about the status of Class VI well permitting and primacy, including federal funding, Congressionally-mandated reports and a survey of states about the UIC Class VI program conducted by GPI, please read the GPI blog here.